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The Afghan Hound is an aristocrat, his whole appearance one of dignity and aloofness with no trace of plainness or coarseness. He has a straight front, proudly carried head, eyes gazing into the distance as if in memory of ages past.The striking characteristics of the breed--exotic, or "Eastern," expression, long silky topknot, peculiar coat pattern, very prominent hipbones, large feet, and the impression of a somewhat exaggerated bend in the stifle due to profuse trouserings--stand out clearly, giving the Afghan Hound the appearance of what he is, a king of dogs, that has held true to tradition throughtout the ages.

The first recorded Afghan's in the West was in the latter part of the 19th century brought back by British officers and others from the Indian-Afghanistan border wars.

There was little interest in the breed until 1907 when Captain John Barff brought from Persia via India his dog "Zardin" in 1925. During WWI the breed literally disappeared in the Western world.

Today's Afghan Hounds date to 1920 when Maj. & Mrs. G. Bell Murray and Miss Jean C. Manson brought a group of dogs from Baluchistan, formerly an independent state south of Afghanistan and now a part of Pakistan, to Scotland. Most of these dogs were of the "desert" type--racy, fine headed and light in coat.

Mrs. Mary Amps shipped to England the first of a group of Afghan Hounds from the kennel she maintained in Kabul. These were mainly the "mountain" type--sturdily built, relatively short-coupled and more or less full-coated.. From these imports came a most successful show dog and sire, English Ch. Sirdar of Ghazni.

Though during the 1920s a number of "Bell-Murray" Afghans were exported to the United States and registered in the AKC Stud Book beginning in 1926, the real start of the breed in this country dates to the first "Ghazni" imports in 1931.

Photographer: Pepper Nix



In Afghanistan, the country from which the Afghan Hound derives its name, the natives believe that this monkey-faced dog was the chosen dog to accompany Noah on his ark

As coursing dogs Afghan Hounds excel, not so much in straightaway speed--although they have considerable--as in the ability to traverse rough terrain swiftly and sure-footedly. This requires agility in leaping and quickness in turning, plus the stamina to maintain such a strenous chase for as long as it may take to close on the quarry.

Photographer: Pepper Nix


By its nature the Afghan Hound is a high speed hunter and in his native Afghanistan, he is still used for hunting large game animals. Because they tend to outdistance the horses, a good Afghan Hound hunts "on its own" without direction by the huntsman, giving rise to the independence of thought and spirit still typical of the breed today.

Photographer: Pepper Nix

Photographer: Pepper Nix


Photographer: Pepper Nix


Over and beyond their success in such fields as conformation shows, lure coursing and at obedience and agility trials, Afghan Hounds are prized and loved by their owners as companions and members of the family. With its highly individual personality and a coat that needs regular care and grooming, it is not the breed for all would-be dog owners, but where the dog and owner combination is right, there is no animal which can equal the Afghan Hound as a pet.